February 27, 2018

Faculty co-chairs to lead Purdue 150th Ideas Festival

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two Purdue University faculty members will lead the year-long festival of ideas that will be the centerpiece of the university’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2019.

President Mitch Daniels announced the appointment of Christine Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, and Mark Lundstrom, the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as co-chairs of the initiative to create and implement a series of events that could include high-profile nationally and internationally known speakers, and curricular, classroom and community examinations of world-changing technologies and long-term trends.

Daniels announced the initiative in early February with a call for proposals, asking faculty, staff, students, alumni and others to “look to the future, to the next 150 years that Boilermakers will do so much to shape.”

Ladisch and Lundstrom are charged with fostering collaboration across the university, the community, K-12 classrooms, and internationally in developing innovative ideas around the theme of intellectual excellence.

Suggested topics for the Ideas Festival have included:

• Immortality: Can we achieve it? Should we?

• Artificial intelligence: Where is it taking us and is it worth the risks?

• Pros and cons of social media for individuals, society and democratic institutions.

• Space: Our next frontier or the source of our demise?

• Democracy: Wave of the future or historical aberration?

• China, India, Africa, U.S. ... Whose World in 2120?

• Our robotic future: Life without work?

“This is no small assignment,” Daniels said. “We expect these events to be done so well that they will create a new level of recognition of Purdue as a center of both technological excellence and the most serious intellectual inquiry.”

The call for proposals, due to the Office of the Provost by March 9, is the first step in creating the Ideas Festival. Daniels, along with Ladisch and Lundstrom, hope to announce the main topics by early April with the goal of launching the sesquicentennial celebration in fall 2018.

A website in development at www.purdue.edu/150 will include information about all events and celebrations planned on campus and around the world.

Purdue was founded as Indiana’s land-grant university in 1869 as a result of the Morrill Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Its history of teaching, research and engagement is one of excellence and success, making Purdue an intellectual hub between the coasts. 

Contacts: Christine Ladisch, ladischc@purdue.edu

Mark Lundstrom, lundstro@purdue.edu

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-17 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.